Jeep Windshields Suck

Jeep’s windshields stink more than a bucket of armpits. There, I said it!

There are plenty of articles and videos out there regarding Jeep’s windshield cracks. Well, I’m now a victim of this defect. #sigh

At first cracks developed on the lower corners of the windshield. They grew longer over time. The crack that started on the lower left is now about a foot high, leaning to the right. The crack on the right grew long enough to intersect with the crack on the left. How is this even possible?

I called Jeep and they told me their warranty does not cover windshield cracks. Even those that were not caused by impact. The crack on the left was definitely caused by a pebble. The crack on the right has no trace of any impact, it just showed up one day. I’m not a happy camper. I’m not really concerned that the windshield will implode on the highway. I’m worried about getting a damned ticket.

So I called Geico, and they told me it is covered by my comprehensive coverage. I have a $500 deductible. Yay. So I went through my policy with the very patient representative. We added a few recent mods, reviewed some coverages, and lowered my deductible to $100. My premium went up by $135. Not bad considering if my windshield breaks once per year in the next thee years, I come out ahead. 🙂

I have my appointment on Tuesday to replace the windshield with OEM glass. Geico uses the cheapest glass they can, so if/when it happens again, I pay $100 and I take whatever Geico gives me. On the bright side, I select the shop.

I started a thread on one of the forums, got some interesting responses:

Jeep windshields suck massive <redacted>

#firstWorldJeepProblems

jeepuniq Mounts

Now that I have all my important devices mounted and the wiring hidden, it was time to order a mount that would hold my Garmin inReach Explorer+ and provide another mic holder. The two would be stacked on the new product, and would attach to the passenger grab bar.

The jeepuniq mount I had in mind was the perfect design, item number CG-K18JL-G100-B-M1-27137. Nothing to drill, just wrap the base around the grab bar and slide a bracket to hold it in place.

When the product arrived today, I ran to my Jeep to confirm that the fit was as perfect as my buddies said it would be. They were right, the quality and manufacturing tolerance was as good as it gets. I confirmed the mic mount was nicely designed, securely holds the mic. Impressive given the reasonable price. They provided two platest to slide under the grab handle, presumably to deal with any Jeep grab handle manufacturing tolerance issues, or from general wear and tear over time.

So the Garmin inReach Explorer+ would mount to the top of the product by way of Garmin’s charging cradle. I expected the assembly to be simple and easy. I had a couple issues. The bolts were too thick, or so I thought. Their chat support instructed me to push the bolts thorugh the Garmin charging cradle’s holes so the steel liners can be pushed out. That worked, the holes are now big enough for the bolts to go through.

Once I got the bolts installed, I found another issue. The bolts protruded 2-3mm, which I was able to resolve by adding a couple washers to each bolt. The washers should have come with the kit. Not sure if it was an oversight, or if the bolts were just not the right size. In any case, two washers per bolt and things mounted fine.

Once the Garmin charging cradle was secured to their mount, I confirmed the washers fixed the protruding bolt issue. At that point I went back to the Jeep, mounted it to the grab bar, slid the Garmin inReach Explorer+ onto the charging cradle that was mounted to their product, and I put the mic into the product’s mic slot. The whole thing is extremely sturdy, snug fit onto the brab bar, not expecting anything to bounce off while the Jeep bounces off boulders in Moab or Rubicon. They give you two sliding brackets, presumably to tighten their product should it loosen over time.

Overall, I’m very happy, it was well worth the wait. My minor gripes include lack of clear instructions, and the bolts being the wrong length or missing washers. To be fair, they’ve got a huge number of designs to cover the different Jeep models and a vast number of devices. Though for this kind of dual design, you only really need to show how to mount the Garmin charging cradle, and how to attach the product to the grab bar. No instructions are needed on how to put the mic into the slot.

I highly recommend jeepuniq. Its a very high quality product, built to incredible tolerances (except for bolt length, or needing to include washers), and brilliantly designed. Kudos to whoever was on the other end chatting with me so late at night, thank you for going above and beyond.